Transitions Online: Make Karimov a Pariah

by Laurence on 5/31/2005

Transitions Online: Blood-Red Lines:

The best the West can do for ordinary Uzbeks is to make Karimov a pariah.

Sometimes a line is crossed that, one assumes, all “freedom-loving” people must agree is a red line, whatever their politics and character. Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov crossed a blood-red line in mid-March. The numbers of dead alone – 169 officially; perhaps 500, perhaps 700 according to unofficial accounts – make it clear that Karimov suppressed unrest in eastern Uzbekistan with stunning brutality. Eye-witness accounts even suggest the wounded were finished off by his soldiers. When the news emerged, it seemed reasonable to assume that all Western politicians might accept that, after Andijan, doing business with a man like Karimov would be both unacceptable and deeply counterproductive.


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